Pop-Up Shops Get Digital Boost

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Appear Here may be a pioneer in the field of short-term-rental retail space.

This smart new British app connects brands, entrepreneurs, retailers, designers and creative types with available space in some of the world’s most vibrant cities. Better yet, it all happens on line.

In all, Appear Here offers more than 10 million square feet of commercial space looking to be temporarily transformed into any number of retail reinventions.

The stated mission of this cool new marketplace that bloomed out of the pop-up-shop craze? “To create a world where anyone with an idea can find space to make it happen.”

Appear Here was hatched in London in 2012, when a 20-year-old, Ross Bailey, sought to capitalize on the popularity of the encroaching Diamond Jubilee. With a friend, he opened Rock & Rule in a recently vacated shop and sold limited-edition Queen-Elizabeth-inspired T-shirts and apparel for a few days.

Bailey was surprised at the number of inquiries he fielded during the short period his store was open about how he’d manage to score such a cool short-term rental space. Thus, the idea for Appear Here was born.

The startup quickly expanded into France and, most recently, into New York. It operates in three offices now: one each in London, Paris and NYC.

To date, Appear Here has listed more than 4,000 “exclusive spaces” for consideration by its short-term retail clients. Its clever marketplace has been used by more than 80,000 brands, including headliners like Nike, Loewe, Givenchy, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter and Kanye West. But it’s the independents who make up the bulk of the company’s clientele. These are the little guys who want to take their idea for a spin around the block without having to commit to anything long term or insanely expensive—the ones precisely for whom Appear Here was created.

In a recent IPO, Appear Here raised another US$12 million, bringing its total raised capital to US$21.4 million. It’ll use the proceeds to expand into other locations.

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